It’s easy to compare the WVU and TCU football teams since both joined the Big 12 Conference at the same time, in 2012.

The Mountaineers, coming from the Big East, had an obvious geographical hurdle that the Horned Frogs — which came from the Mountain West — didn’t have, but five years later, both schools have fit in and are no longer considered the new kids on the block.

One could argue that the WVU and TCU series has been the best over the last half a decade. The last two years have gone in favor of the home team, each winning by a wide margin, but the previous three contests have been games to remember.

In 2012, as both schools were trying to feel their way into getting comfortable in the Big 12, the game ended up being a thriller in Morgantown. The Mountaineers’ Tavon Austin broke a long punt return for a touchdown to give his team the lead late, but TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin found Josh Boyce on a 94-yard touchdown to tie it late.

Two overtimes later, the Horned Frogs left Morgantown with a 1-point win after getting a 2-point conversion — a pass that may have touched the ground but the replay crew said otherwise.

The following season, in a game of back-and-forth momentum, the Horned Frogs came back from a 10-point deficit with four minutes to go to force overtime, but WVU kicker Josh Lambert connected on a 34-yard field goal to win it for the Mountaineers. Both teams ended up finishing 4-8 and missing bowl games, still working to get acclimated to the Big 12.

Fortunes started to turn around for WVU and TCU in 2014. Heading into their matchup in early November at Milan Puskar Stadium, both teams were ranked and the Horned Frogs even reached the top 10, at No. 7.

The matchup warranted an appearance by ESPN’s “College GameDay” and had host Lee Corso don the Horned Frog head at the end of the show. Corso ended up being right as TCU kicker Jaden Oberkrom nailed a 37-yard field goal to steal a win, 31-30, in Morgantown.

TCU went on to be in the College Football Playoff picture while the Mountaineers limped their way to a 7-6 record.

The two games in Morgantown were won by a total of two points by TCU, and the first three games as Big 12 members were decided by a total of five points.

The last two years haven’t been as close — TCU ran away with a 40-10 win in primetime on a Thursday night, in Fort Worth in 2015, while WVU took care of business at home last year, 34-10.

That brings us to this season’s matchup, set to kickoff at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, at Amon G. Carter Stadium, in Fort Worth. TCU is riding high at 4-0 and has worked itself to No. 8, while the Mountaineers remain ranked, at No. 23.

The game is just one of two that features two ranked teams going head-to-head this week, and College GameDay will be making the trip to see WVU take on TCU again.

Both schools seemed like desperate add-ons to the Big 12 when Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska and Texas A&M left prior to the 2012 season, but the Mountaineers and Horned Frogs have consistently created national buzz when they face each other. A Thursday primetime slot, two College GameDay appearances and a trio of nail-biters have made this series one of the most under-appreciated in the Big 12.

Follow Sean Manning on Twitter @SeanManning_DP. Email: smanning@dominionpost.com.